McALESTER — McAlester’s recent varsity track teams have often lacked the numbers to really compete at the state level.
One possible solution to this problem: get kids interested in track at a younger age.
Athletes from Parker Intermediate Center won 35 out of 50 total events, dominating the fifth- and sixth-grade track meet held Tuesday at Hook Eales Stadium in McAlester.
Carney said McAlester used to have informal youth track meets, but this was the first multi-school youth meet.
“I just did this to try to get these young kids motivated so we can get more interest at the varsity level,” Buffs coach Richard Carney said. Carney also said that schools as Plainview frequently hold youth track meets, and that’s translated to larger teams and more success at the high school level.
McAlester domiated the medal stands even though individual wins didn’t count towards a team score, as they would in a varsity meet. The meet drew so much interest at Parker that four separate McAlester teams were entered into the meet: McAlester Black, McAlester Blue, McAlester Gold and McAlester Red.
Though not all results sheets differentiated between the McAlester teams, fifth-grade team McAlester Red earned 35 medals. McAlester Blue, the other fifth-grade team, earned 22.
Among the sixth-grade teams, McAlester Black earned 21 total medals and McAlester Gold earned 14.
Boys and girls competed in separate divisions, with each group broken up by grade to create four groups. Each group competed in as many as 13 events: 100 meter hurdles, 400 meter relay, 800 meter relay, 1600 meter relay, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 600 meter run, 1200 meter run, shot put, discus, high jump and long jump.
In two cases — fifth-grade girls’ 1200 meter run and sixth-grade boys’ high jump — not enough kids signed up to run the event. As many as the top five in each event received medals.